Hello, readers, writers, and monster-lovers of all sorts! What could possibly be better than a Christmas book? A Christmas book filled with monsters, of course! We're thrilled to have author of the Monsters Everywhere series, Laura Baker, sharing her newest book with us today. Monsters at Christmas (illustrated by Nina Dzyvulska) follows monsters as they get ready for the holiday by shopping, decorating, playing in the snow, and having all sorts of monster-filled fun. Want to know more about Laura and get a closer look at her new monster book PLUS want a chance to win your very own copy for the holidays? Read on...
Q: Hi, Laura! Thanks for joining our holiday event! We’re so excited to feature you and hear more about your adorable new book, Monsters at Christmas. We’re HUGE monster fans here at #SeasonsOfKidLit. :)
Before we dive into your fun book, can you share a little bit about yourself and how your Monsters Everywhere series came about?
A: Thank you so much for having me! This feels like the perfect place to celebrate a book that combines monsters and the festive season.
The series started with the first book that came out earlier this year, Monsters in Trucks. I wrote that when my youngest was into both monsters and trucks, and I thought it would be fun to combine those two popular themes. The publishers, Happy Yak, added Nina Dzyvulska’s brilliantly funny art, and the series was born! At first I thought we’d extend it with different vehicles, but it turned out the monsters were clearly the stars of the show. So now we have Monsters at Christmas – and watch for two more Monsters books to come next year!
Q: Two more? How cool!
Monsters at Christmas, the second book in your Monsters Everywhere series, is a hilarious rhyming story that features monsters getting ready for the holiday by decorating their houses, shopping for presents, playing in the snow - and more!
Can you share more about this story and the inspiration behind it? What gave you the idea to pair monsters with Christmas?
A: The idea for a Christmas title actually came from the publisher. Seasonal titles are great to do, and we thought it would be so much fun to try a mischievous monster take on them! When I started writing the text, I thought about all the classic Christmas things – decorating, baking, shopping, snow, the Christmas show at school – and then monster-fied them. It was loads of fun to find the balance between the warm, sweet Christmas feelings and a bit of mischief!
Q: What can readers expect to see as they flip through the pages of your book? And what makes this a perfect read for the holiday, and for readers of all ages? I'd love to hear more about the hidden Santa on each page, too!
A: Ooh yes, the hidden Santa is a great touch! Again, that was another bit of genius from the wonderful people at Happy Yak. In the first book we have a ladybug that appears in every scene, and of course in this book it had to be Santa! I love that you don’t discover that you need to look for him until the last page, so it makes you want to go back through again to spot him.
The brilliant thing with Nina’s art though is that there is SO much to spot. She’s got amazing details everywhere – I’m still finding new things every time I look! Each monster is hilarious too – Cling Monster is a particular favorite of mine.
The text should be fun to read as well. I enjoyed playing with words to keep this light and energetic (watch out for Cozy Monster and Toes-y Monster, and Joyful Monster and Toy-ful Monster!).
I think this is a perfect holiday read because readers should recognize some of their own Christmas traditions in the story, but in a really playful and fun way. Both adults and children can find their own favorite monsters, or monsters most like them. I think I’m Cozy Monster – how about you?
Q: All of your books look like they’d make wonderful gifts. Can you share more about some of your other titles? What books of yours should book-loving readers check out? How about readers looking for inspirational and heart-warming reads?
A: Thank you so much – I really hope they do make it into some stockings this year!
The other book I had out earlier this year is called All the Wonderful Ways to Read, illustrated by Sandra de la Prada and published by Little Tiger. It’s a celebration of all types of books and all kinds of reading, inspired by my oldest son who reads in all sorts of funny positions and my youngest son who enjoys different types of books. It’s a beautiful hardback that would make a really special gift to inspire of a love of reading in any emerging bookworm.
Q: That sounds amazing, too. We can't wait to check it out!
What’s one of your favorite ways to celebrate the holidays in December?
A: Oh, I love most things about December! I am definitely a cozy Christmas person. I love going for walks in the evenings with my two young sons to spot the Christmas lights around our town. It just feels so special and magical. We love baking, decorating, and of course curling up with hot chocolate by the fire. Just call me Cozy Monster. :)
Thanks again for joining us, Laura! We loved hearing more about you and your monster friends!
Q: How would you like to Spread the Joy this holiday season?
A: I’d love to give away a copy of Monsters At Christmas to one of your lovely readers in the US or Canada! Just tell me your favorite thing about the Christmas season, and I’ll send one winner a signed, dedicated copy. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!
What a fantastic treat! Thanks SO much!
Readers, to enter to win Laura's fun giveaway, 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below letting her know why you can wait to check out her book. Monster GIFs are always welcome, too. ;)
Spread the Joy winners will be chosen on or about December 17th.
*Laura's book will be shipped in the US or Canada only*
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of three (3) Rate Your Story Speed Passes,perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Laura Baker:
Laura Baker is the author of over 50 books for children, including picture books, board books, activity, non-fiction and early readers. She has written about feelings, farms, dinosaurs, the magic of books… and even talking onions! Her books are published with Little Tiger Press, Scholastic, Hachette and many more – with more to come. Laura grew up in Canada but now lives in Wales, UK, with her husband, two boys and big basset hound dog.
For more about Laura, check out the below links:
To see more of Nina Dzyvulska's work, check out the below links:
Illustrator’s Instagram: @nina_dzyvulska
To purchase Laura's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.